Poodle Adventures

December Poodle Adventures – Old Dog Syndrome

‘Twas the Thursday before Christmas and out on the back deck… Cookie was stirring and I’m thinking “What the heck!?”

Cookie Staggers About…

It was mid-late afternoon (December 19) and I let Cookie out back to go potty.

He’d finished doing his business and was heading toward the door when all of a sudden… he fell to the side and stumbled around like he was going to collapse.

Cookie walked like a drunken Poodle. He staggered around so badly I thought he was going to keel over right then and there.

My first thought was he might be having a stroke or a heart attack.

I picked him up and carried him inside.

After checking him over I decided to call the Vet.

Calling The Vet…

It was too late for an appointment that day but the Vet talked me through it and I made an appointment for the next morning.

For the rest of the night, Cookie didn’t eat, drink or even share an ice cream with Grandpaw.

I was worried he might not make it through the night and I woke often to check on him.

Cookie sleeps on the pillow next to me. I took the pillow away because I didn’t want him to lose his balance and fall off the bed.

At The Vet…

The Veterinarian examined Cookie and ruled out several causes.

He determined it was either a small stroke or a vestibular something or other (I can’t remember the term he used but it causes vertigo / dizziness).

He said another term for it is Old Dog Syndrome and it’s possible for it to come and go.

Expensive Testing…

After his initial diagnosis, the Vet gave me the option of having Cookie go through additional, expensive tests to find out if anything else is going on.

Before committing to the tests, I asked the Vet what he would do if the tests showed that something else was wrong.

He said, for the diagnosis’ that might come back, there’s nothing that could be done because of Cookie’s age and current health conditions.

In human years Cookie would be about 70 years old. Cookie also has a couple of age related health issues. His health issues could potentially be improved through surgery but his heart isn’t good and he’s no longer a candidate for surgery.

Knowing the results of the tests would not change the outcome… I opted not to do the tests.

Cookie’s Treatment Plan…

The Vet gave Cookie a shot and some pills to help him with the nausea and other symptoms that stem from the vertigo.

Other than the medication, Cookie’s treatment includes rest (so his body can heal as much as possible) and support (I need to make sure he can’t hurt himself by falling down stairs, etc).

Apparently, most dogs heal from this on their own but it could take several weeks.

Cookie has perked up a little in the past few days. He still walks a little drunkenly and his head still tilts to the side but I remain hopeful.

Cookie's old dog syndrome
Cookie is looking back at me – tilting his head instead of turning it.

The head tilt thing is normal (for this condition) but it can have an air of creepiness about it too.

Keeping Cookie Safe…

Cookie doesn’t like me to be out of his sight and that includes being in the kitchen when I’m trying to cook or do dishes.

When I’m in the kitchen I put Cookie in his stroller so he can watch without being under foot and possibly getting stepped on or hurt.

Related Post (about the stroller): Cookie Got Hurt – How I Take Walks With A Lame Deaf Dog

I didn’t realize this until Nikki pointed it out but it looks like Cookie is smiling 😊

Christmas Day…

It’s now late-afternoon on Christmas day.

Cookie and Grandpaw are sleeping after a rather large and tasty lunch that was more than an hour late.

Hey now… I’m not a cook! I messed up the timing but it was no big deal. It’s about enjoying the day, not about what time lunch is served.  

With the lull in activity, I figured it was a great time to pull up the blog and write!

Parting Thoughts…

For me, the Holiday Season starts with Thanksgiving and ends with New Years Day.

This was one of those years where the season slipped by way too fast and the challenges of life tried to steal the joy… but I enjoyed it anyway!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the entire Holiday Season no matter what life has thrown your way.

Thanks for visiting my blog!


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